How a Hollywood Director Uses AI to Make Movies — from every.to by Dan Shipper
Dave Clarke shows us the future of AI filmmaking

Dave told me that he couldn’t have made Borrowing Time without AI—it’s an expensive project that traditional Hollywood studios would never bankroll. But after Dave’s short went viral, major production houses approached him to make it a full-length movie. I think this is an excellent example of how AI is changing the art of filmmaking, and I came out of this interview convinced that we are on the brink of a new creative age.

We dive deep into the world of AI tools for image and video generation, discussing how aspiring filmmakers can use them to validate their ideas, and potentially even secure funding if they get traction. Dave walks me through how he has integrated AI into his movie-making process, and as we talk, we make a short film featuring Nicolas Cage using a haunted roulette ball to resurrect his dead movie career, live on the show.

 

Adobe Brings Conversational AI to Trillions of PDFs with the New AI Assistant in Reader and Acrobat — from news.adobe.com; via AI Secret

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – [On 2/20/23], Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) introduced AI Assistant in beta, a new generative AI-powered conversational engine in Reader and Acrobat.

Simply open Reader or Acrobat and start working with the new capabilities, including:

  • AI Assistant: AI Assistant recommends questions based on a PDF’s content and answers questions about what’s in the document – all through an intuitive conversational interface.
  • Generative summary: Get a quick understanding of the content inside long documents with short overviews in easy-to-read formats.
  • Intelligent citations: Adobe’s custom attribution engine and proprietary AI generate citations so customers can easily verify the source of AI Assistant’s answers.
  • Easy navigation:
  • Formatted output:
  • Respect for customer data:  
  • Beyond PDF: Customers can use AI Assistant with all kinds of document formats (Word, PowerPoint, meeting transcripts, etc.)

Along these lines, also see:


5 ways Sora AI will change the creator economy and how to take advantage of that — from techthatmatters.beehiiv.com by Harsh Makadia

Essential skills to thrive with Sora AI
The realm of video editing isn’t about cutting and splicing.

A Video Editor should learn a diverse set of skills to earn money, such as:

  • Prompt Writing
  • Software Mastery
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Collaboration and communication skills
  • Creative storytelling and visual aesthetics

Invest in those skills that give you a competitive edge.


The text file that runs the internet — from theverge.com by David Pierce
For decades, robots.txt governed the behavior of web crawlers. But as unscrupulous AI companies seek out more and more data, the basic social contract of the web is falling apart. 


 

Generative AI in a Nutshell – how to survive and thrive in the age of AI — from youtube.com by Henrik Kniberg; via Robert Gibson and Adam Garry on LinkedIn


Lawless superintelligence: Zero evidence that AI can be controlled — from earth.com by Eric Ralls

In the realm of technological advancements, artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a beacon of immeasurable potential, yet also as a source of existential angst when considering that AI might already be beyond our ability to control.

Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy, a leading figure in AI safety, shares his insights into this dual-natured beast in his thought-provoking work, “AI: Unexplainable, Unpredictable, Uncontrollable.”

His research underscores a chilling truth: our current understanding and control of AI are woefully inadequate, posing a threat that could either lead to unprecedented prosperity or catastrophic extinction.


From DSC:
This next item is for actors, actresses, and voiceover specialists:

Turn your voice into passive income. — from elevenlabs.io; via Ben’s Bites
Are you a professional voice actor? Sign up and share your voice today to start earning rewards every time it’s used.


 

 

Scammers trick company employee using video call filled with deepfakes of execs, steal $25 million — from techspot.com by Rob Thubron; via AI Valley
The victim was the only real person on the video conference call

The scammers used digitally recreated versions of an international company’s Chief Financial Officer and other employees to order $25 million in money transfers during a video conference call containing just one real person.

The victim, an employee at the Hong Kong branch of an unnamed multinational firm, was duped into taking part in a video conference call in which they were the only real person – the rest of the group were fake representations of real people, writes SCMP.

As we’ve seen in previous incidents where deepfakes were used to recreate someone without their permission, the scammers utilized publicly available video and audio footage to create these digital versions.


Letter from the YouTube CEO: 4 Big bets for 2024 — from blog.youtube by Neal Mohan, CEO, YouTube; via Ben’s Bites

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#1: AI will empower human creativity.

#2: Creators should be recognized as next-generation studios.

#3: YouTube’s next frontier is the living room and subscriptions.

#4: Protecting the creator economy is foundational.

Viewers globally now watch more than 1 billion hours on average of YouTube content on their TVs every day.


Bard becomes Gemini: Try Ultra 1.0 and a new mobile app today — from blog.google by Sissie Hsiao; via Rundown AI
Bard is now known as Gemini, and we’re rolling out a mobile app and Gemini Advanced with Ultra 1.0.

Since we launched Bard last year, people all over the world have used it to collaborate with AI in a completely new way — to prepare for job interviews, debug code, brainstorm new business ideas or, as we announced last week, create captivating images.

Our mission with Bard has always been to give you direct access to our AI models, and Gemini represents our most capable family of models. To reflect this, Bard will now simply be known as Gemini.


A new way to discover places with generative AI in Maps — from blog.google by Miriam Daniel; via AI Valley
Here’s a look at how we’re bringing generative AI to Maps — rolling out this week to select Local Guides in the U.S.

Today, we’re introducing a new way to discover places with generative AI to help you do just that — no matter how specific, niche or broad your needs might be. Simply say what you’re looking for and our large-language models (LLMs) will analyze Maps’ detailed information about more than 250 million places and trusted insights from our community of over 300 million contributors to quickly make suggestions for where to go.

Starting in the U.S., this early access experiment launches this week to select Local Guides, who are some of the most active and passionate members of the Maps community. Their insights and valuable feedback will help us shape this feature so we can bring it to everyone over time.


Google Prepares for a Future Where Search Isn’t King — from wired.com by Lauren Goode
CEO Sundar Pichai tells WIRED that Google’s new, more powerful Gemini chatbot is an experiment in offering users a way to get things done without a search engine. It’s also a direct shot at ChatGPT.


 

 

Hologram lecturers thrill students at trailblazing UK university — from theguardian.com by Rachel Hall

Prof Vikki Locke and Prof Gary Burnett try out the hologram technology. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Any university lecturer will tell you that luring students to a morning lecture is an uphill struggle. But even the most hungover fresher would surely be enticed by a physics lesson from Albert Einstein or a design masterclass from Coco Chanel.

This could soon be the reality for British students, as some universities start to beam in guest lecturers from around the globe using the same holographic technology that is used to bring dead or retired singers back to the stage.

 

Enter the New Era of Mobile AI With Samsung Galaxy S24 Series — from news.samsung.com

Galaxy AI introduces meaningful intelligence aimed at enhancing every part of life, especially the phone’s most fundamental role: communication. When you need to defy language barriers, Galaxy S24 makes it easier than ever. Chat with another student or colleague from abroad. Book a reservation while on vacation in another country. It’s all possible with Live Translate,2 two-way, real-time voice and text translations of phone calls within the native app. No third-party apps are required, and on-device AI keeps conversations completely private.

With Interpreter, live conversations can be instantly translated on a split-screen view so people standing opposite each other can read a text transcription of what the other person has said. It even works without cellular data or Wi-Fi.


Galaxy S24 — from theneurondaily.com by Noah Edelman & Pete Huang

Samsung just announced the first truly AI-powered smartphone: the Galaxy S24.


For us AI power users, the features aren’t exactly new, but it’s the first time we’ve seen them packaged up into a smartphone (Siri doesn’t count, sorry).


Samsung’s Galaxy S24 line arrives with camera improvements and generative AI tricks — from techcrunch.com by Brian Heater
Starting at $800, the new flagships offer brighter screens and a slew of new photo-editing tools

 

From DSC:
I can’t agree more with Stephen and Simon here:

I’ll never stop blogging: it’s an itch I have to scratch – and I don’t care if it’s an outdated format
Simon Reynolds, The Guardian, Dec 26, 2023

I have various blogs for different types of writing, some popular, some deliciously obscure. And there’s no such thing as an outdated format.  I write about what I like to write about.

Excerpt of the article by Simon Reynolds:

Even if nobody reads them, I’ll always be drawn to the freedom blogs offer. I can ramble about any subject I choose.

I miss the inter-blog chatter of the 2000s, but in truth, connectivity was only ever part of the appeal. I’d do this even if no one read it. Blogging, for me, is the perfect format. No restrictions when it comes to length or brevity: a post can be a considered and meticulously composed 3,000-word essay, or a spurted splat of speculation or whimsy. No rules about structure or consistency of tone.


Two other items from Stephen that caught my eye recently. The first item below is a great little AI tool that lets you input the URL of a video and receive a nice summary of the video.

Summarize.Tech
Summarize, LLC, Dec 23, 2023
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Newspocalypse now
Mike Orren, Nieman Lab, Dec 19, 2023
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This is significant because trends in education have pretty reliably followed trends in media by about ten years. Closed access classes and tuition revenue may feel pretty secure right now, but in a decade the bottom will be falling out of the market and higher education will be in the same shambles the news industry is today. “We will learn that the less something looks like what we have now, the better chance it has of being the thing on the other side of death.”

 

Generative AI Is Set to Shake Up Education — from morganstanley.com
While educators debate the risks and opportunities of generative AI as a learning tool, some education technology companies are using it to increase revenue and lower costs.

Key Takeaways

  • Contrary to the view that generative AI is undermining education, it could ultimately improve access and quality.
  • Education technology companies have opportunities from generative AI that markets may be missing.
  • Generative AI could bring $200 billion in value to the global education sector by 2025.
  • Reskilling and retraining alone could require $6 billion in investments by 2025, with edtech companies poised to fill that need.

Outgoing SNHU president: AI means universities must change ‘dramatically’ — from msn.com by Steven Porter

In his next chapter, LeBlanc will work with a team of researchers to study emerging AI trends, impacts on education, and opportunities to innovate. (The initiative harkens back to his early scholarship. During grad school decades ago, LeBlanc studied the ways computers could impact how societies think.)

LeBlanc said the AI-induced changes on the horizon will require educational institutions to reimagine how they assess student learning and grapple with implications for privacy and data security. There are also bigger questions about what jobs will go away and what jobs will be created, which influences the fields of study schools will offer, he said.



AI & Education: A Year in Review — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
The top five use cases & most popular tools among educators at the end of 2023 – the year than Gen AI shook-up education

Use Case #1: Content Creation
Use Case #2: Brainstorming & Ideation
Use Case #3: Research & Analysis
Use Case #4: Writing & Communicating
Use Case #5: Task Automation


I Used ChatGPT for 12 Months. Here Are Some Hidden Gems That Will Change Your Life — from theaigirl.substack.com by Diana Dovgopol
Transform your life with these ChatGPT’s hidden gems.

1. Summarize videos, articles, papers and posts
Here’s how it works (note that you need to enable browsing or plugins for this)

  1. Find the video/article/paper/post.
  2. Copy the link.
  3. Ask ChatGPT to summarize it for you.

AI ADVISORY BOARDS: Giving Students and Teachers a Voice — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com

My mission is to spread awareness about the incredible potential of AI and AI advisory boards in education. Through my website, aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com, I aim to inspire educators, administrators, and students to embrace AI and create innovative learning environments.


Report Update: Human and Computer Deep Learning and the Future of Humanity — from by Stefan Bauschard
New Chapter on School Guidance; updates on technology, the labor markets, and deep learning


 
 

The rise of AI fake news is creating a ‘misinformation superspreader’ — from washingtonpost.com by Pranshu Verma
AI is making it easy for anyone to create propaganda outlets, producing content that can be hard to differentiate from real news

Artificial intelligence is automating the creation of fake news, spurring an explosion of web content mimicking factual articles that instead disseminates false information about elections, wars and natural disasters.

Since May, websites hosting AI-created false articles have increased by more than 1,000 percent, ballooning from 49 sites to more than 600, according to NewsGuard, an organization that tracks misinformation.

Historically, propaganda operations have relied on armies of low-paid workers or highly coordinated intelligence organizations to build sites that appear to be legitimate. But AI is making it easy for nearly anyone — whether they are part of a spy agency or just a teenager in their basement — to create these outlets, producing content that is at times hard to differentiate from real news.


AI, and everything else — from pitch.com by Benedict Evans


Chevy Chatbots Go Rogue — from
How a customer service chatbot made a splash on social media; write your holiday cards with AI

Their AI chatbot, designed to assist customers in their vehicle search, became a social media sensation for all the wrong reasons. One user even convinced the chatbot to agree to sell a 2024 Chevy Tahoe for just one dollar!

This story is exactly why AI implementation needs to be approached strategically. Learning to use AI, also means learning to build thinking of the guardrails and boundaries.

Here’s our tips.


Rite Aid used facial recognition on shoppers, fueling harassment, FTC says — from washingtonpost.com by Drew Harwell
A landmark settlement over the pharmacy chain’s use of the surveillance technology could raise further doubts about facial recognition’s use in stores, airports and other venues

The pharmacy chain Rite Aid misused facial recognition technology in a way that subjected shoppers to unfair searches and humiliation, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday, part of a landmark settlement that could raise questions about the technology’s use in stores, airports and other venues nationwide.

But the chain’s “reckless” failure to adopt safeguards, coupled with the technology’s long history of inaccurate matches and racial biases, ultimately led store employees to falsely accuse shoppers of theft, leading to “embarrassment, harassment, and other harm” in front of their family members, co-workers and friends, the FTC said in a statement.


 

Educational practices to identify and support students experiencing homelessness — from edresearchforaction.org by Alexandra Pavlakis, J. Kessa Roberts, Meredith Richards, Kathryn Hill, and Zitsi Mirakhur

The EdResearch for Action Overview Series summarizes the research on key topics to provide K-12 education decision makers and advocates with an evidence base to ground discussions about how to best serve students. Authors – leading experts from across the field of education research – are charged with highlighting key findings from research that provide concrete, strategic insight on persistent challenges sourced from district and state leaders.

Central Question
What evidence-based practices can schools and districts implement to identify and support students experiencing homelessness?

 

From DSC:
The recent drama over at OpenAI reminds me of how important a few individuals are in influencing the lives of millions of people.

The C-Suites (i.e., the Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers, and the like) of companies like OpenAI, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Netflix, NVIDIA, Amazon, Apple, and a handful of others have enormous power. Why? Because of the enormous power and reach of the technologies that they create, market, and provide.

We need to be praying for the hearts of those in the C-Suites of these powerful vendors — as well as for their Boards.

LORD, grant them wisdom and help mold their hearts and perspectives so that they truly care about others. May their decisions not be based on making money alone…or doing something just because they can.

What happens in their hearts and minds DOES and WILL continue to impact the rest of us. And we’re talking about real ramifications here. This isn’t pie-in-the-sky thinking or ideas. This is for real. With real consequences. If you doubt that, go ask the families of those whose sons and daughters took their own lives due to what happened out on social media platforms. Disclosure: I use LinkedIn and Twitter quite a bit. I’m not bashing these platforms per se. But my point is that there are real impacts due to a variety of technologies. What goes on in the hearts and minds of the leaders of these tech companies matters.


Some relevant items:

Navigating Attention-Driving Algorithms, Capturing the Premium of Proximity for Virtual Teams, & New AI Devices — from implactions.com by Scott Belsky

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

No doubt, technology influences us in many ways we don’t fully understand. But one area where valid concerns run rampant is the attention-seeking algorithms powering the news and media we consume on modern platforms that efficiently polarize people. Perhaps we’ll call it The Law of Anger Expansion: When people are angry in the age of algorithms, they become MORE angry and LESS discriminate about who and what they are angry at.

Algorithms that optimize for grabbing attention, thanks to AI, ultimately drive polarization.

The AI learns quickly that a rational or “both sides” view is less likely to sustain your attention (so you won’t get many of those, which drives the sensation that more of the world agrees with you). But the rage-inducing stuff keeps us swiping.

Our feeds are being sourced in ways that dramatically change the content we’re exposed to.

And then these algorithms expand on these ultimately destructive emotions – “If you’re afraid of this, maybe you should also be afraid of this” or “If you hate those people, maybe you should also hate these people.”

How do we know when we’ve been polarized? This is the most important question of the day.

Whatever is inflaming you is likely an algorithm-driven expansion of anger and an imbalance of context.


 

 

Why Kindness at Work Pays Off — from hbr.org by Andrew Swinand; via Roberto Ferraro

Summary:
Whether you’re just entering the workforce, starting a new job, or transitioning into people management, kindness can be a valuable attribute that speaks volumes about your character, commitment, and long-term value. Here are a few simple routines you can integrate into your everyday work life that will spread kindness and help create a culture of kindness at your organization.

  • Practice radical self-care. The best way to be a valuable, thoughtful team member is to be disciplined about your own wellness — your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • Do your job. Start with the basics by showing up on time and doing your job to the best of your ability. This is where your self-care practice comes into play — you can’t do your best work without taking care of yourself first.
  • Reach out to others with intention. Make plans to meet virtually or, even better, in person with your colleagues. Ask about their pets, their recent move, or their family. Most importantly, practice active listening.
  • Recognize and acknowledge people. Authentic, thoughtful interactions show that you’re thinking about the other person and reflecting on their unique attributes and value, which can cement social connections.
  • Be conscientious with your feedback. Being kind means offering feedback for the betterment of the person receiving it and the overall success of your company.

“When anxiety is high and morale is low, kindness isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. With mass layoffs, economic uncertainty, and geopolitical tensions, kindness is needed now more than ever, especially at work.”

 

From DSC:
The following item from The Washington Post made me ask, “Do we give students any/enough training on email etiquette? On effective ways to use LinkedIn, Twitter/X, messaging, other?”


You’re emailing wrong at work. Follow this etiquette guide. — from washingtonpost.com by Danielle Abril
Get the most out of your work email and avoid being a jerk with these etiquette tips for the modern workplace

Most situations depend on the workplace culture. Still, there are some basic rules. Three email and business experts gave us tips for good email etiquette so you can avoid being the jerk at work.

  • Consider not sending an email
  • Keep it short and clear
  • Make it easy to read
  • Don’t blow up the inbox
  • …and more

From DSC:
I would add to use bolding, color, italics, etc. to highlight and help structure the email’s key points and sections.


 

Graphic Design Trends 2024 – The Great Reset — from graphicmama.com by Lyudmil Enchev
2024 will be a year of revolution in graphic design, and we are about to share with you why and how trends in graphic design will totally change 180 degrees.

Ways to use AI in 2023 in your designs:

  • Find inspiration for your designs
  • Give you ideas for concepts and compositions
  • Help you with choosing colors
  • Help you change backgrounds or retouch images
  • Help you with revisions and variations
  • Resize and recompose designs in different dimensions for different platforms
  • Create visuals for websites, marketing, and social media
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian